How do the British pronounce it out there

commentDear British, go or stay, but do something!

In one of the most beautiful skits by the British comedian troupe Monty Python, a customer at a pet shop complains that the seller hit him with a dead parrot. The dealer vehemently denies this and assures that the stiff and apparently no longer living animal is quick-fidel.

It's similar these days with Brexit. For all who can see, there is a historic calamity afoot that is causing harm to all involved. But part of the UK public insists that the future outside the EU will be bright. The parrot is dead. But you can still talk to it alive.

Shortly before the latest Brexit vote in the British Parliament, more than 100 EU parliamentarians made an appeal to the citizens of the island: If the British decided to stay despite all appearances, it said they would be warmly welcome.

Only funny to a limited extent

It was a touching and understandable attempt to stop a train that had been started by a bunch of irresponsible politicians in Britain. However, this attempt also assumes that there are still contact persons on the island who are accessible to rational, emotional or even some kind of arguments. And that seems more and more dubious. The British, whom we have often admired so much that despite all their quirkiness, they always use common sense in the end, are about to lose precisely this nimbus. It is a sad, painful, and only partially comical sight.

It is no longer necessarily a question of whether you share the original impulse of the exit friends - "Take back control!" Or not. In the meantime it has become more than clear that it is only a question of the extent to which the British will lose control. In the course of the chaotic and often silly Brexit process, even the most ardent fans are now gradually realizing that there is simply no scenario in which Britain is better off afterwards than before. With or without a deal, near or far from the EU - the country's job market, industry, culture and citizens will have to suffer. This is not the result of any EU institution, but the British government itself.

The resistance to the British Prime Minister Theresa May's exit plan is therefore probably also due to the fact that no one has a better proposal and the MPs therefore bite into what is there. The Brexiteers have always acted as if all of this could be negotiated for the benefit of the country and as if the EU had to accept all demands in the end. But Brussels made its conditions clear from the start and has never deviated from them - it used to be said in British fashion. Now the Brexit friends are standing there and trying to save face: as long as parliament is arguing about the intricacies of an agreement, it can maintain the illusion that something can still be turned for the better, improved, optimized.

Please make up your mind

But there is nothing left to optimize. There is only one question left: in or out? Also a member of a flawed, but by and large functioning association of states that acts, argues and pulls together. Or alone out there in a world where the Trumps and Putins are trying to enforce their rules.

And it would be very helpful to the UK and Europe if this question were resolved soon, so that both can return to the many other pressing issues.

The British are a lovable people, they produced Gary Lineker, Harry Potter, the Beatles and Emma Thompson. You have been on the right side in the most important conflicts of the 20th century and saved the continent from catastrophe on several occasions. With the British royal family, they deliver a reality show that has been going on for decades, oh what, centuries and for which the world envies them.

For all of this, they deserve eternal thanks. And it would be wonderful to keep her with you. But it would also be great if they could gradually make up their minds.